Ask the average person in the street if they know what a “quadruple toe loop” is and you’d likely solicit a blank expression.
Ask the same question near a skating rink, however, and you will get a whole different reaction.
Richmond’s 16-year-old figure skating star Wesley Chiu now knows for the first time what it feels like to execute and land such an incredible jump, having pulled it off recently en route to landing another first – a senior mens win held by the BC/YK Skate Canada Section.
Not only that, Wesley, out of the Richmond-based Connaught Skating Club, chalked up a score of 149.09 from his near four-minute program, beating his personal best by 27 points.
“I knew after that the program would go well; after landing a huge jump it was a bit of an adrenalin rush,” said Wesley of the moment he landed the jump perfectly, just 30 seconds into his routine.
“But I also knew I had the rest of the program to perform so I tried to stay calm.
“That was a new jump for me, (it was my) first time trying it in competition; I only learned it earlier this year.
“A lot of junior skaters at my level have quadruple jumps, so I needed to get this one. It gets me closer to the podium at international level.”
Wesley now has sights set firmly on climbing the rankings as high as possible in Canada – something his Connaught coach, Keegan Murphy, believes the 16-year-old has in his locker.
“He’s on a nice track to compete on the world level one day,” Murphy told the Richmond News.
“They key is keep him healthy, manage the body, be mindful of not overtraining him. For a 16-year-old, this (jump) is amazing, it’s a huge achievement.
“It hopefully gives Wesley a lot of confidence and a glimpse at what he can do in the years ahead.”
The pair is now hoping Wesley’s first senior mens win will be last of the virtual competitions, which only have a camera and a coach for company.
“It has been a little bit more difficult because all my life I’ve performed in front of an audience and judges,” Wesley told the News.
Up next for the Connaught team is the junior grand prix in September and October: a series of six international competitions.
“Fingers crossed we will be able to have them (in front of a live audience and judges) and (we’re) hoping Wesley will get the chance to represent Canada in these competitions,” added Murphy.